Were you a child of the 80's? I was born in 1972, but the 80's are the some of the years I most fondly remember.
It was all about the music.
It was a time where I could discern whether someone was friend-worthy by quizzing them on their music preferences. Did they like Depeche Mode? U2? Oingo Boingo? R.E.M.? George Michael? Pet Shop Boys? Totally.
It went even further than that. 80's music could help me get to know someone better. When Jeremy from drama class caught my eye and I noticed a huge THE SMITHS sticker on the back of his car, I listened to their music. And I liked it. So, I liked Jeremy. (The feeling did not appear to be mutual, but that never stopped me from stalking someone...) In fact, because I was a bit boy crazy back-in-the-day, I discovered all kinds of great music! Red Hot Chili Peppers. Happy Mondays. Cowboy Junkies. The Church. They Might Be Giants. All discovered when investigating music that some boy liked. Rad!
I well remember the year I was given a portable pink radio with a stripey shoulder strap for my birthday. I would jump on my beach cruiser, throw the radio over my shoulder and listen to some sweet tunes as I rode to the beach, along the strand, and all over town. It was a particularly good day when "We Are the World" would come on - that song always made me smile. "That's What Friends Are For" was another favorite. Who didn't love Dion Warwick and Stevie Wonder?? Awesome.
There were songs that seemed to be written for me. Songs that knew my heart and made me cry. There were songs that made me laugh. Songs I had to dance to every time I heard them, no matter where I was. Songs I could sing along to at the top of my lungs and songs that brought me quiet reflection. And you know what? I still love music today as much as I did then. It still speaks to me. It's like a friend who understands so many aspects of my life and can put it all into the words that I lack.
So, maybe the 80's were a time for some crazy clothing, gaudy jewelry, overdone makeup and unique hairstyles... but that was when I gained my love for music - in all its diversity. And for me, that makes it all worth it.